Lilly Winwood has gone into the “family business” — quite happily, in fact.
Winwood, 22, is the daughter of Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Steve Winwood. She was born in Nashville when he lived there, then moved back to his native England with the family when she was young. She returned to Nashville about three years ago to work on her music career in earnest, releasing the EP “Silver Stage.”
These days she’s on the road opening for her father, showing off the next generation of Winwood for his multiple generations of fans...
• Winwood came to music organically. “It was never like, ‘Oh, I’m gonna be in the music business!’ ” she recalls by phone. “I kind of just always played music and I started playing out probably when I was about 16 or 17; I didn’t really have anything else going for me so, ‘Alright, I’m gonna give this a try.’ I was into sociology at one point but education was never really my forte. I never paid attention in class or got good grades or anything. That just wasn’t really the right path.”
• Her father’s musical notoriety, meanwhile, had minimal impact on Winwood. “I never really considered his fame until, like, a year ago,” she says. “He’s always just been my dad. We lived in the rural countryside, so he was never recognized or anything like that. But through touring with him is when I realized, ‘Oh, cray, people really like you!’ ”
• Her father’s legacy, meanwhile, is both encouraging and intimidating. “I probably started touring with him a couple years ago,” Winwood says, “and it was really encouraging when he asked me to open for him. But it was also intimidating, in a way, because I was going from clubs that can hold about 20 people to theaters that are much larger. But he’s always bene so encouraging and he’s never tried to noodle his way onto my recordings or anything like that. He’s just been really encouraging and supportive.”
• For Winwood, the “Silver Stage” EP is “kind of a coming of age thing for me. Those songs ranged from when I was 15 to the week before I recorded them. My song ‘London’ is about my very first breakup, when I was 15, and how big and scary London was and then my boyfriend went on vacation and was like, ‘Hey, I think we need to break up. I’m moving to London.’ And I was like, ‘Y’know what? I’m not even upset about it. You go for it. London is scary~!’”
• Winwood has plenty more songs around, with more coming all the time, with the hopes of releasing her first full album this year. “I have an interesting catalog,” she notes. “I’m looking to kind of start from scratch. I’ve written a few songs in the recent months that I’d like to get down. I feel like this EP represents all these songs I wrote when I as 15, 16, 17, so I’m looking to start fresh, maybe achieve a new sound with a bit more fuller, bigger band and have more kind of rockiness to it, if that makes sense.”
IF YOU GO
Steve Winwood with daughter, Lilly Winwood, brings his “Greatest Hits Live Tour” to the following area locations:
March 8: New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark, N.J.
March 9: Tower Theater, Upper Darby
March 15: Sands Bethlehem Events Center, Bethlehem
For more information and tickets, check www.stevewinwood.com